For years after that chilling December day, John says he and his family were hounded by tabloid reporters. "The media was cruel. ... It was a rush to judgment or almost a cyberspace lynching," John says. "What we learned was there's certainly a very responsible part of the media, and there's certainly a very irresponsible part of the media—a very reckless part."
Despite negative press, JonBenet's mother held out hope that the real killer would be captured. Sadly, in June 2006, Patsy died after a long battle with ovarian cancer. At that time, she and her husband were still widely perceived as suspects in their little girl's murder.
In the summer of 2008, breaking news put the Ramsey family back in the headlines. John, his late wife, and their son, Burke, were formally exonerated by Mary Lacy, the Boulder, Colorado, district attorney. She cited new DNA evidence that cleared the family of any involvement in JonBenet's death.
"We knew there was DNA all along. The police didn't really pay attention to it," John says. "When the district attorney took the case over, they did pay attention."